Thoughtful people have argued: Once you start footnoting innocent human life, you are in trouble. Innocent life must not be taken, unless (here come the footnotes) the subject is too small, sick or depressed to complain. One footnote, people have argued, and the jig is up; in the long run the accumulating footnotes will strangle humane society like algae choking a pond.
Who would have believed when the Supreme Court legalized abortion that one generation later, only one, America would have come to this? Mrs. Schiavo’s parents wanting her to live, pleading for her to live, the state saying no, and a meeting of the Legislature required to pry the executioner’s fingers from the victim’s throat?
I would never have made such an argument when the abortion decision came down, and I would never have believed it. I still can’t believe it. Is this America? Do I wake or sleep?